tv After Words with Senator Jeff Flake CSPAN August 14, 2017 12:02am-12:41am EDT
>> let's start with the original conscience of a conservative written for barry goldwater the original red white and blue burned in my mind guiding. it is an almost goldwater in 1960 he felt the republican party compromised by the new deal that's where the party power ought to go into the conscience of conservatives. in a way i think we are facing the same kind of questions today
that the party or the conservative movement has been compromised. >> you begin the buck by saying i regret having to write this book because it is a necessity of the design of the movement which is therefore great good of the country is lost. why is that, explained? >> it is consistent and then the principles that animated that were limited government economic freedom and individual responsibility, free trade and strong american leadership around the world. we had a campaign not t want to touch entitlement spending that we've got to do that we have to
>> host: more broadly. we've got the republican majority of statehouses explain to someone how conservatism is lost. i remember very well when we were in this position just a few years ago i got to congress in 2001 and ran a conservative think tank in the goldwater institute. we knew each other then and during the 1990s the party was animated by the ideas and i still remember and talk about in the book the chairman of the ways and means committee. they promoted it like a concert tour where they were debating
the merits of the flat tax. the party stood for principle. it was federal intrusion into the local education and that was anathema to conservative and mike said i feel sometimes like we are called up to the battlefront only to be told the illusion is over on the prescription drug benefit that added about $7 trillion.
we lost our way and because we were not fiscally conservative anymore that went out the window and then we had to argue about things like flagburning and to delve into the issues and i think in some ways we've never gotten back. we had the majority in the house and senate. because we have the majorities to mean today a year and a half from now. >> i like the anecdote of you and mike pence as freshmen.
the academic arguments are of the health of conservatism and the privilege belief. how did you make the case rightfully got the help from conservatism is an urgent matter that has real world implications? >> if you are doing it just for the sake of winning the elections then we can do that but if as conservatives we want to enact the conservative policy you have to treat it like how do we step this up for governing the ways we can move forward on the agenda and take forward one that was in this agenda the president very effectively realized the transitioning economy and those in the rust belt in particular to point to
the factory and say. i am not denying the popularity. people expect you to govern and as a conservative you want to enact conservative policies so it would have been better to say yes to if you're talking about long you're losing but you have to recognize the factory is shuttered because of automation and productivity. we manufacture twice what we did in the 1980s with one third fewer workers and there are the locations to recognize that for
the workforce of the future but that doesn't mean we can just tell them if we knock out the trade deal then you're going to be winning again with a rally in the campaign slogan. >> you can't reduce the complex policy problems in 140 characters it is difficult but i think it is a responsibility of conservatives first and foremost to say you have a factory job. you may be transitioning out of it. this economy is going to change and it may be disruptive. the jobs are all coming back.
>> we don't hear a lot of those debates during the election. i hope it makes a comeback and i think when the voters start to value the progress towards enacting the conservative goals as president nominated to the supreme court that's a big deal for conservatives and for me. i was very pleased to help his nomination through the judiciary committee and then on the floor that's a great win and that will have conservative implications i think in the future. and another nomination to the federal bench is.
it revolves around being conservative in terms of policy and in the foreign policy the conservative needs to be steady and needs to be sober and predictable and respect our institutions and those international institutions that have served us well for so long. and anything else is not conservative. >> sticking to the domestic policy for now it's where i became a conservative on fiscal policy. in the fiscal conservatism, can that have a breakthrough it doesn't feel like enough. >> guest: not when you put it
like that. i think what it is, people understand if you talk to small businesses about their large corporations they will tell you the same thing. we were competing globally now more than ever and we have to have a conducive tax and regulatory environment and we don't have that right now. we are among the highest in the world and the regulatory policy we were getting way out of whack and i do think that the president has pushed back into the reaction between 2.6 economic growth that is in large measure due to people assuming we are going to move forward on tax policy and have regulatory policy that is conducive.
but whether it is healthcare regulations, financial regulation, environmental it's been all-consuming. >> you tell a very moving story about how. then you also a little later talk about how. talk about the muslim ban to those experiences as a backdrop. >> when the president in december of 2015 announced he would have a muslim ban, that to me and i think to the heart of any is a dagger. people who may not know the
history in the 1840s. it's basically fair game and that was until 1975 certainly the mormons are there to illinois and ultimately across the plains to utah until the great great grandfather was among that group. it was the mexican men and it jusband and itjust doesn't sit . so when that was announced, i took my family and we went to the mosque and daily prayers to say that we didn't agree with
that and that wasn't the republican posit and i would argue the latest iteration is constitutional. it's not the constitutional aspects. it's clearly unconstitutional. if we are going to win the war on terrorism and the war against radical islam do not describe radical islamic views and that's kind of what a muslim ban certainly does. people tended to think that was deliberate on and ideliberated s as they talk in the book that came about as we are going to
have about a band that is based on geography based in the country at least the collaborative process where you choose the countries and we didn't go through that here. but his heart wouldn't start and they have to bring in another machine to circulate the blood indicates the other organs going to. but then demand that did that was from the mayo clinic. he was a palestinian raised in lebanon. we had these type of
bands of people in the majority muslim countries tha then we wod lose out on a lot of the talent in the medical field and high-tech and everything else that we rely on and it saved my father-in-law's life. >> host: did it bother you that the muslim ban appealed to a lot of people? >> guest: i'm certainly not blaming the voters in the population. it'that's partly because politicians often will exaggerate the threat or paint with a broad a brush that is intended to rile people up so i don't blame those ultimately that have that sentiment as much as i blame those of us in the position to do otherwise.
it's mainly because of the expansion on the civil rights act at the time. these are prime times in america for the racial divide what role do you think conservatives need to play in bridging the racial divide? >> guest: one thing that touches on the racial divide his immigration reform and i do think that they deem to be the party that welcomes immigrants and i can't remember if i mentioned in the book or not i talked about when tim came was chosen by hillary clinton as her running mate and the first speech was in florida and he spoke often in spanish in that speech where he spoke of a
naturalization ceremony that he had it and i thought at that time thathe timethat should be . that used to be us. that's the republica republicano be celebrated and those that made it here and wanted by choice to be in america and i thought we are giving that up. we sat down and the famous autopsy thadid the famousautopst to appeal to a broad audience and when you look at that audience, george w. bush won and mitt romney lost.
if we don't have a message that is appealing to everyone and a message some groups feel they are being targeted are left behind than we are not going to be successful electorally and i would commit it's not a conservative message and feel that we could include everyone. >> i want to move to a subject that's very important to me. you say that only in anti-democratic regimes do we allow them to compete with the truth. president trump seems pretty hell-bent on undermining the truth and belief of the strong free press as one of the best mechanisms getting at the truth. how do conservatives and
citizens combat about? >> i devote an entire chapter in the book to this. we have to cherish that and hold to it the best we can. there's been talk and other governments in europe putting severe limits so he will through some kind of a market response but it is really concerning when we talk about where he was born and there were a lot of those
that came out and said from the beginning don't go there. but i think too many were silent or engaged in that in the entire process. the democracy depends on some shared effects and some truths that are self-evident. and if we don't have that than we are in real trouble. i was concerned the other day to see the pull that said 49% of republicans believe that the donald trump won the popular vote and he won the electoral college but he didn't win the popular vote and that is a truth that should be self-evident because of the forces pushing
everything out that are not right and too many people are believing it and it is a big problem. we haven't found a solution to it and i hope people will tell you real news and it's going to be a problem for a long time. >> in particular because the primary traffic or is that is our president so there's not a lot of lessons about not trafficking in fake news or conservative news. the point is to say here's where it's got huge anit got huge ando the white house. >> i do think that it is incumbent when things are so demonstrably untrue.
you talk about the election and all of the positions on trade and the global economy that as we talked about earlier those slogans really resonated with a lot of americans. did the voters want to come to free-trade. did they reject. >> if you were given two choices something easy or something hard, and easy answer or heard truth it's easier to take the choice when you are entertained in the process. and this was an entertaining the election but that doesn't absolve us of recognizing we've
got told the truth and when there is a shuttered factory is more complex than china to post jobs and so when we come off of this sugar high of populism what happens when they don't return who's to say we have a coal plant in northern arizona against those that were threatening its close and it just couldn'ended justcouldn't d effective given the regulations but then we got to know where some of the regulations might be the right size for more appropriate that it was not
economically viable and so it is closing down. it's regulation that's keeping this were stopping us from keeping the plans going but in truth now it's the market and that's the case with a lot of manufacturing. like i said we are doing a lot more of it just more efficiently and requiring fewer workers but those are a hard truth that we are going to have to either talk about now working for the later and what i fear is a so tha thee might as well tell the truth. >> host: you talk about the vote no and yes politics as the danger of that and wrote
maintaining one for the political reason is neither principled or conservative. please explain what you mean by that. >> we gave one particular example where i felt i hope yes and voted no and we had a big bailout. and i felt fully justified voting against that in terms of relieving those regulations and whatever may have caused this. so i felt i could just vote no and i did. >> voting against bailouts is what we do. >> than the stock market dropped i think 7% in just a few hours after the house. and i thought at the time if i'm still not going to vote for this but at that time believed me i
was believing what hank paulson and ben bernanke were saying that he said if we don't do this we won't have an economy and it is particularly stark so i had believehaveto believe that at tt that i relied on other people to provide the votes so i could protect my voting record against all that kind of spending and i regretted that later because i thought i' i let someone else cy my water. i don't know if that would have been justified. in colonial india they built these golf courses and couldn't
eradicate them off of the course so they developed a rule. and i think other people did that. >> host: i wonder what you think about right now they are going through a similar struggle happened to be pro-life what do you think about that kind of existential crisis that they are having? if you have a party that wins the election and governance but
it is tough to be pure on everything and use every issue as a litmus test then certainly the republican party hopes he can provide a big tent and we have to if we are going to survive in the future and assume that everyone has the same constituency or the same belie beliefs. people that we look to recognize the need to compromise to get to going in the right direction and i think certainly we are finding that on healthcare would have been nice to be able to do it
exactly in the image tha the imd to but that isn't where we are. he's not an ideological purist by any means for someone who makes decisions based on the situation without political philosophy behind it. >> guest: the leader of the party there are times. the principles that drive the instincts to be moving in the right direction.
it is a even-tempered and it matters and the political opponents make it difficult to work with in the future so the thought of it is back to the demeanor. what do they think of jeff flake? you famously modeled at the bipartisanship by moving yourself on a desert island but trump mocks our cries for stability over the course of the campaign and says we have too many big problems to worry about the tone in our politics. why is he wrong?
>> when it requires 60 votes to do just about anything. there's never a bad time. i mentioned one of the chapters about my own upbringing and watching in my own life. i grew up in snowflake a small town. my father served as the mayor and he served on the boards and commissions and was involved in public service. my uncle was the speaker of the
house in arizona well beloved by both sides a democrat from st. john's. you have to do that and when you grow up on a ranch like i did and watch my brothers, they run the ranch and having brothers and four sisters you kind of have to get along. and if you don't do the work nobody does it and i think that's how the city council's work and state legislatures usually have to work because they can't borrow money and put off decisions they should have to make now. so i think that we can get away sometimes in congress we
shouldn't but he get awa we geth behavior that wouldn't be tolerated but we can paper over differences by spending more money and having a bigger deficit. it's a good credo for politicians when you are looking at the other side. it can bring some unexpected allegiances. can conservatives and liberals find common cause is right now.
it will be added to the debt every year at some points the markets are going to respond, but not in a good way and then we become like greece or japan we will be digging out for decades if not generations. i don't want to get to that point but in order to get there if you look at every good budget agreement we've had over the past 40 years with republicans and democrats have sat down and said albright was share the political risk and get enough in each party to go along with this that's what is going to happen